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    Tempio Malatestiano, also known as the Cathedral of Santa Colomba, is the Cathedral of Rimini, located in Via IV Novembre.



    A chapel dedicated to Santa Maria in Trivio is documented on this site in the 9th century.

    The chapel was demolished in 1257, to allow the construction of a larger church in Gothic style, dedicated to San Francesco and supported by the Franciscan order.

    Between the 13th and 14th centuries, two chapels were added on the southern side of the church. Despite its modest size, the structure was enriched by altars and works of art, including works by Giotto.

    In 1312, it was already used as a burial place for the Malatesta family.

    Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini, decided to built a chapel dedicated to San Sigismondo, and entrusted the project to Matteo de’ Pasti from Verona.

    On October 31, 1447, the first stone of Tempio Malatestiano was laid. In the following years, after a successful series of victories, Sigismondo decided to extend the project to the entire structure.

    Leon Battista Alberti was entrusted with the project of a new church, which included the addition of a rotunda in the rear part of the structure, covered by a dome.

    The work on Alberti’s design presumably began in 1453, but the project remained unfinished. In 1460, only three chapels and the external coverings were completed.

    Sigismondo was defeated by the papal troops two years later, and this resulted in the interruption of the works.

    After Sigismondo died in 1468, the Franciscan order resumed the works, but the project continued differently from the Alberti’s project. The works were completed in 1503.

    Tempio Malatestiano - Rimini

    the facade of Tempio Malatestiano

    In 1809, the Napoleonic suppressions dissolved the Franciscan convent, and following the deconsecration of the ancient Church of Santa Colomba, the Malatesta Temple was consecrated as the city’s cathedral.

    During the Second World War, the church suffered a lot of damage. The apse area, together with a large part of the roof, was destroyed and rebuilt in simplified forms with the exterior in exposed brick and the interior in simple white plaster.

    Only in recent years, the main altar was enriched by a famous crucifix by Giotto, painted during his stay in Rimini between 1308 and 1312.



    The exterior of Tempio Malatestiano was designed by Leon Battista Alberti. He designed a marble casing that left the pre-existing building intact.

    The work, unfinished, provided for a tripartite division in the lower part of the facade, with arches framed by semi-columns with composite capitals, while in the upper part there was a kind of pediment with an arch in the center flanked by pilasters.

    The focal point was the central portal, with a triangular tympanum in the center of an arch richly decorated with polychrome marble slabs.

    The lack of the upper arch allows you to see a part of the simple medieval facade of the structure dedicated to San Francesco.

    Malatesta Temple - Rimini

    the interior of Tempio Malatestiano

    The sides are composed of a sequence of arches on pillars. The blind arches were intended to house the sarcophagi of the highest dignitaries of the court.

    The sides and facade are unified by a high plinth which isolates the building from the surrounding space.

    During the Renaissance works, the interior was kept as a single hall by adding some deep side chapels, framed by pointed arches, raised by one step and closed by richly ornamented marble balustrades.

    The roof is made up of simple wooden trusses, with visible beams and tiles, built by the Franciscans at their own expense following the interruption of the Malatesta works.

    Like a pagan temple, the side chapels are named after the Liberal Arts. Two further chapels are dedicated to the tombs of Sigismondo (Chapel of the Virtues) and Isotta, his third wife (Chapel of the Angels).

    The presbytery was rebuilt after the Second World War destruction. The current main altar, in metal and travertine, by Giuliano Vangi, replaces the previous gift from Napoleon attributed to Luigi Poletti.

    Behind the altar, there is the remarkable Crucifix attributed to Giotto. The crucifix is the only surviving work of his activity in Rimini for the Franciscan church.



    Tempio Malatestiano is located about 550 meters away from the Rimini railway station. The closest bus stop is Duomo, located in front of the church, on the bus Line 1.

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